Gypsophila paniculata 'Bristol Fairy'
Common Name: baby's breath 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to August
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Good Cut, Good Dried
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil


Grow in average, somewhat dry, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers alkaline soils (pH7.0 to 7.5). Add lime to acidic soils. Soils must have good drainage. Plants may not survive winter in wet, poorly drained soils. Likes to be left undisturbed once established. Cut back or shear after flowering to promote rebloom.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Gypsophila paniculata, commonly called baby's breath, is a mainstay filler plant of the floral industry. Sprays of baby's breath are frequently used as filler in bouquets and floral arrangements.

Genus name comes from the Greek gypos meaning gypsum and philos meaning friendship in reference to this plant’s preference for high pH soils.

Specific epithet refers to the flowers being arranged in panicles.

'Bristol Fairy' is a diffusely branched, mound-forming cultivar that features numerous, long-lasting, double white flowers (1/4" wide) in open, airy panicles on wiry, jointed stems in summer. Lance-shaped foliage is somewhat sparse.


No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to botrytis and aster yellows. May need staking or other support.

Garden Uses

Provides excellent contrast and texture to the perennial border. May be used as summer filler to cover areas once occupied by early spring wildflowers, bulbs or other plants which disappear into dormancy by early summer.